Hooper and Huskers cruise to win
Lincoln - No. 18 Nebraska opened the game with a 24-0 run and cruised to an 89-53 women's basketball victory over Oral Roberts at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
All-American Jordan Hooper erupted for 30 points and added 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year in just 20 minutes of work against the Golden Eagles. It was Hooper's eighth career 30-point game and 32nd career double-double, as she moved past Kiera Hardy into No. 5 on Nebraska's career scoring list.
The Huskers closed the non-conference portion of their schedule by improving to 10-2 on the season.
Hooper, who had 23 points and eight rebounds in the first half, led five Huskers in double figures as Nebraska exploded for a school-record 62 first-half points. Nebraska also hit a season-high 12 three-pointers, knocking down 50 percent of their triples on the day.
Nebraska hit 52.5 percent (32-61) of its shots from the field overall, including a season-best 63.9 percent (23-36) in the first half. NU opened the game 7-for-7 from the field. The Huskers, who also hit 13-of-17 free throws for the game, outrebounded ORU, 41-29, and won the turnover battle, 22-15.
"That is as good as I've seen one of my team's play offensively, in the first half especially, in a long time," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "I thought our ball movement was really good and obviously it helps that we made a lot of shots. I also thought our defense was pretty good in the first half, especially in the first 15 minutes."
The Huskers raced to a 24-0 lead after a Hooper layup with 13:12 left in the first half. ORU didn't get on the board until Kaylan Mayberry hit a jumper with 12:39 left.
Nebraska then answered with 11 straight points to take a 35-2 lead after an Emily Cady three-pointer. Cady, a 6-2 junior forward, finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a pair of threes.
Mayberry heated up to score 17 points in the first half, but Nebraska kept scoring, eventually pushing the lead to 39 points at 49-10 on a Rachel Theriot jumper with 4:09 left in the half. Theriot finished the game with 11 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Junior guard Tear'a Laudermill added another strong performance with 11 points, a career-high five assists and a season-high three steals in just 18 minutes of work. Sophomore guard Sadie Murren added her second straight game with double digits, pumping in 11 points including a trio of three-pointers.
Hooper pushed NU's lead to 40 for the first time, burying a three-pointer with 2:25 left in the half to make it 56-15. Hooper added another three-pointer and a three-point play in the next 38 seconds to finish the first half with 23 points.
Nebraska's lead grew as large as 49 points on a pair of occasions in the second half, the last coming after seven straight points from Hooper capped by a steal and layup to make it 83-34 with 9:49 left.
Oral Roberts opened the game just 1-of-12 from the field and never recovered. The Golden Eagles slipped to 1-9 on the season after going 20-of-58 (34.5 percent) from the field. ORU did hit 8-of-17 three-pointers (47.1 percent) and 5-of-8 free throws. Christian Key led ORU with 25 points, scoring 23 of ORU's 28 points in the second half.
Nebraska wraps up its five-game home stand by opening Big Ten Conference play with Northwestern on Thursday, Jan. 2. Tip-off between the Huskers and Wildcats is set for 8 p.m., and tickets are on sale now at Huskers.com. The game will also be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network.
Nebraska's 62 points in the first half were the most in a first half in school history - surpassing the previous all-time best of 59, last produced against Washington State on Nov. 22, 2009. The previous record was established against InterAmerican on Dec. 21, 1993.
The 62 points tied for the fifth-highest point total in a half in school history. The record of 68 was set in the second half against Howard on Dec. 11, 1992.
Nebraska's 12 three-pointers tied for the fourth-highest total in school history.
Nebraska hit double-digit three-pointers for the second straight game after going 10-for-24 against South Dakota. Over the last four games, NU is 32-of-71 (45.1 percent) from three-point range. Through the first eight games, Nebraska was just 44-of-156 (28.2 percent)
Jordan Hooper moved to No. 5 on the Nebraska career scoring list with 1,933 points. She also has 941 career rebounds. She past Kiera Hardy (1,930 points, 2004-07) on the Husker career list.
With 30 points and 11 rebounds, Hooper produced her sixth double-double of the season and 32nd of her career.
In two games against Oral Roberts the past two seasons, Hooper had 63 points and 20 rebounds in 45 total minutes. ORU went to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Sadie Murren produced double figures for the second straight game (11 points) and hit 3-of-6 three-pointers for the second straight game. Murren has scored in double figures off the bench for NU three times in the past nine games.
It was the fifth game this season that Murren has hit multiple three-pointers in a game, improving to 14-of-27 from long range on the year.
Tear'a Laudermill scored in double figures for the fifth time in the past eight games, finishing with 11 points. Laudermill had a career high five assists and added a season-high three steals.
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